Tag Archives: hope

When You’re Down – Look Up

“Touch the Sky” by Hillsong

What fortune lies beyond the stars
Those dazzling heights too vast to climb
I got so high to fall so far
But I found heaven as love swept low

My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

What treasure waits within Your scars
This gift of freedom gold can’t buy
I bought the world and sold my heart
You traded heaven to have me again

My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender
Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever

Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender
Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever

My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am, reaching out I surrender
Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever

For many, this has been a difficult and challenging year. As we come to the end of 2015 and soon enter a new year, my prayer is that with every new dawn and in every new challenge, may we find inner strength and peace from the One above who promises to never leave us or forsake us.

Nobody said life would be easy, but nothing worth having ever is.

Hold onto the memories. 

About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

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December 27, 2015 · 1:23 PM

So Long for Now …

“Fred, Eric, Sarah, and Michael – to all of Susan’s extended family and beloved friends: My family and I extend our sincere condolences.”

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Susan’s family

 

“My heart is heavy today. Susie was my friend. She reached out to me when I was going through some personal pain in my life. She welcomed me and my family into her heart and into her home some 30 + years ago. Our daughters the same age, became close friends, her youngest son and my son, a year apart, became diaper-buddies. Our husbands (during my first marriage) even grew close!”

“I’d watch Susie. She had such an up-beat personality and her words were always so encouraging. Even when I didn’t feel so ‘upbeat’ and ‘positive’, I couldn’t remain feeling down for too long around her. She had a way of hugging you while she patted you on the back … hard! Being around Susie, I learned how to communicate with my small children. I learned how to laugh with them. Susie just had a way with children – she genuinely liked them! I don’t think she ever met a stranger; conversation simply flowed out of her mouth and she truly cared for that one she was speaking to.”

“Susie had child-like faith, always believing that her Heavenly Father was ready to grant her simple requests. Whether it was the petition for the salvation of loved ones, or to save our nation, whether she sought a miracle for a deformed child or for the healing of herself – she knew that there was nothing too hard for God to handle, and never wavered in standing on His promises. She was a true worshiper. She loved to danced before the Lord and become lost in His presence. I don’t doubt she is up there now, dancing with our Savior!”

“Susie believed in hope. Hope against hope. Hope for a better day. Hope that God had something better. Hope that tomorrow would come. She trusted, loved, prayed, believed, laughed, encouraged, interceded, danced, worshiped, sang, rejoiced, wept, and praised! She convinced me that I could make it, that everything would be okay, that I was destined for greatness, and that with God ALL things were possible to them that believed.”

“I enjoyed being around her, but towards the end I am ashamed to admit that I grew uncomfortable. We sometimes cower in the things we do not understand. We cringe from anything that may appear bleak before our eyes and before we know it our resolve weakens, our faith wavers, our hope diminishes. Yet, our God is constant. Aren’t you glad His love’s unwavering, His tender mercies unfailing, His grace enduring? He doesn’t give up on any of us! He says in His Word His grace is sufficient for us – His strength is made perfect in weaknesses.”

“Susie, thank you for the memories. You will be sorely missed. I rejoice knowing that your pain and suffering has ended. When you took you last breath here on earth, your next breath became your first one in heaven.  You get to experience Christmas everyday now, while we plod along doing all we know to do just to make it through another day.”

“And we who are left behind, may we not grow weary as we continue on this journey. May those of us who know Christ, remember that this is not our permanent home. Through every tragedy, every trial and every triumph, remind us Lord, that You, oh God, have something greater in store for us. Although there are times we may not understand Your ways, God, may we remember that we can trust Your heart – for You know what’s best for Your children.”

“They say that I was a great friend to Susie, but it was she who was a great friend to me.”

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Doing what she enjoyed doing best.

 

I’ll always remember my friend, Susie Bubeck, and forever treasure our friendship of the many years we shared together! One day we will all reunite, but today we sadly said goodbye to her.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” II Tim. 4:7

© M.A. Pérez 2015, All Rights Reserved

 

About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

5 Comments

December 23, 2015 · 7:48 PM

Are You Damaged Goods?

Definition of damaged goods: inadequate or impaired. Products that are broken, cracked, scratched, etc.: a person who is considered to be no longer desirable or valuable because of something that has happened: a person whose reputation is damaged.

Is that you?

Regardless of your past or present, you don’t have to remain that way.

Was that ever me?

You betcha!

Read on …

Hollow. Pure loneliness. Dark, like a bottomless pit. Ripping in my chest. Piercing my heart. Again, he stays out all night. Overcome by torment. Abandonment accompanies me. Consumed with depression, isolation wraps itself around me. My mind races with wild imaginations of where he has gone, what he is doing, and with whom.

Instead of going to bed to sleep, I am wearing a hole in the couch. At the sound of every car approaching, like a jack-in-the-box I spring to peek out the window hoping he has returned. With every disappointment, my stomach turns into knots. My own sobs mock me until I cry myself to semi-consciousness. Hideous lies will follow after he returns and add to my anguish and emotional decline. 

This was me back then dealing with my former (cheating) husband. His words like rubbing alcohol pouring over fresh wounds, stung! No band-aid could heal my emotional pain. No quick-fixes. Deeper and deeper I sunk into a dark abyss, crushed beyond repair. For several years, that was my pathetic frame of mind. I know now it didn’t have to be. So, what was the deal?

I had an overload of abuse: physically, verbally, emotionally. I had low self-esteem and zero self-worth. I believed and accepted a lie about me and my situation. I figured since this was my lot in life, better make do. I witnessed my mom go through a cycle of abuse, but I was obviously blind to my own. I made him mad againMaybe I deserved it … Talk about co-dependency!

How do you perceive yourself? Have you been lied to, beaten down and trodden upon? Feel like you’ll never come up for air? Are you tired of stumbling around in blindness, things so bleak you can’t even see your own self-worth? Drowning in sorrow and self-pity? Or maybe you feel you’re at the point of no return in trying to please another. You compromise your values, your mental state, your resources, your health!

Stop allowing someone’s negativity or ill-treatment to rob you of your joy and develop a callous heart. Realize you are worthy. You are valued and matter. There’s nothing wrong with being fragile … but let it be like fine china. Just know that you are not damaged goods; a throw away or a faded memory. Don’t be someone’s victim because you listened to their lies and empty promises.

Get up! Rediscover yourself. Feel your wrist. What is that? A pulse? Then you have purpose! Allow the Master’s hand to reach down and set you on high places. He’ll wipe the tears and dust the soot from off your heart. If God could get me out of the pit, He can get you out, too. It takes a made-up mind. A determination that today is the best day of the rest of your life.

What’s in your hands? What’s in your heart? A dream? A gift? A precious child? You have something worth fighting for. Choose your battles.

 If you don’t know my pain, you’ll never understand my praise.

 

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9 Comments

August 20, 2015 · 7:00 AM

Oil of Joy

What exactly is joy?

I’ve heard it said, “The world didn’t give it to you and the world can’t take it away.”

Joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. At least that’s what I read online. Sounds good to me, but I know from experience pleasure and happiness don’t last. Let’s face it, most of us look to others to please us. We look to others to make us happy, just as we look to things to make us happy and bring us pleasure. But if we’re honest, that in itself is fleeting, isn’t it? Before you know it, we’re needing another fix!

So, how is “joy” different?

The Bible teaches that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10b); I love that! But can one experience joy while going through everyday life with its many toils, twists and turns? To be honest, during times of trauma, the thought of joy escapes me. I mean, I am not necessarily thinking about joy during these times.

So when I read my bible and reminded that the joy of the Lord is my strength, this is what it means to me: It’s a joy unspeakable and full of glory!

I may not be able to explain it, put my finger on it, or even see it. But I know it’s there – I know it in my knower. (Bear with me please, I’m fully aware this isn’t “correct” English.) But I just know that I know. It’s not an “in your face” kind of thing. It’s not necessarily a giddiness. It’s not even a denial of difficulties. For me it’s a reassurance that everything is going to be all right. I may not understand some things, even while having a meltdown, feel sad or grieving.

The pain is real. The battle is real. But so is the joy real. This joy is an indescribable knowing that come hell or high water, I am safe and secure in my Heavenly Father’s arms (just like when I was a child in my earthly daddy’s arms). Even in the midst of pain and sorrow, here is where there’s strength and comfort. This joy floods the heart, it brings an inner peace and strength even though everything else around may be chaotic.

I didn’t always know this or believe this way. But through my experiences, I’ve learned some things. Life happens. Happiness is fleeting. Pleasure is temporary. But the joy of the Lord is constant regardless of circumstances and situations.

Joy is the best makeup – Anne Lamott

Excuse me while I put some makeup on.

Have you experienced this joy?

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17 Comments

Filed under Devotional, Isaiah 61:3

Beauty For Ashes

Beauty For Ashes

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3
(Photo Credit: forashes.org)

My devotions today is found in Isaiah 61:3. Although this passage of scripture brings me comfort, I wondered …

How can there be a smidgen of beauty amongst rubble? Or ashes?

How is this even possible?

How do we see beauty in the midst of suffering, hopelessness, or despair?

When I saw my baby sister lying in her small white coffin, I sure didn’t see any beauty in that.

When I noticed my mama with bruises on her body, I failed to see the beauty.

My former husband known for his strength, vigor and being sure-footed, morphed into a sloppy drunk after one drink of alcohol being miles away from anything charming.

To see my grandpa become a prisoner in his own body, his barrel-chested physic becoming sunken and scrawny was a far cry from beauty.

For my eyes to caress my grandma’s features, once so robust and plump, turning thin and frail after having lost so much weight due to illness wasn’t lovely to behold.

Watching the back of my former husband after he pulled the rug from under my feet, and left me in the dust while I choked in my sobs and called out his name wasn’t a picturesque scene.

My 29-day old granddaughter swollen from fluids in a medically induced coma after her open-heart surgery wasn’t eye-appealing to me.

Scars are not beautiful. Neither are the hidden bruises on the body or on the heart.

Death is not beautiful; the grieving of loved ones taken from you is never beautiful. Hunger is not beautiful. Loneliness is not beautiful.

Repossession isn’t quaint. Foreclosure is eons away from being delightful.

So how can there be beauty for ashes?

I believe it is found in hope. Hope against hope. Hope that the imperfect will become perfect. Hope that the pain will cease. Hope that there will be a day of reckoning. Hope that the scattered pieces will rebuild. Hope for healing and relief. Hope that the light will dawn and a new day will come. Hope that this too, shall come to pass. Hope in heaven. Hope that the best is yet to come. And most importantly, believing in the Blessed Hope that one day, we shall see our loved ones again who have crossed over.

I can yell it now from the mountain top: Thank you, Lord, for turning my life’s ugliness into a thing of beauty!

Out of sadness and hurt, will come strength and victory.

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11 Comments

July 23, 2015 · 10:39 PM

“All of Business is About Relationships.”

As I journey along the way, I have come to realize that I need you. I learn, grow and I am encouraged by you.

You see, there was a period of time when I was hurting so much I didn’t have time for you. I was too wrapped up in my own little sad state of affairs to consider you. And why not? I was led to believe that I was insignificant, damaged goods, a toss away. In my bleeding heart, what could I have contributed to you anyway? Why would anyone listen to anything I had to offer? Inside I was frail, weak and torn. I felt lonely. I was a mess!

But that was then. This is now: I thrive in hearing you say that I’ve helped you. I am comforted knowing I have made a difference by a deed, a spoken word, a smile, a written word, a touch.

Thank you for allowing me to be me. Thank you for going on this incredible journey with me. You walked with me in my brokenness and pain. You rooted for me during my shame, and cheered for me because I came out sane!

I have an endless hope, not a hopeless end!

My messes became my message. My life of peril turned into a life of promise. Through it all, I have gained an astonishing insight: I know that I’m somebody – with a bright future –  who has purpose – is needed – loved.

God hasn’t given up on you, so don’t you dare give up on Him. God loves you, and I do too.

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Filed under encouragement, Inspirational, Relationships

Morning Will Come

Brokenhearted…….
How can I bear the pain?
So many plans…permanently interrupted.
So many dreams….shattered.
Hopes…….dashed
All gone.
Why? Why this? Why us? Why me?
Helplessness…..hopelessness…
Life will never be the same again.
Is it even worth living?
Where are you, God?
I’m right here beside you, my child.
Even though you may not feel my presence,
I’m holding you close under the shadow of my wings.
I will walk with you through this dark night.
Do not shrink from weeping.
I gave you tears for emotional release.
Don’t try to hide your grief.
Let it become for you a source of healing,
A process of restoration,
For I have planned it so.
Those who mourn shall be blessed.
I’ll be holding on to you,
Even when you feel you can’t hold on to me.
Seek my face, child of mine.
Receive my promise, impossible as is may seem now,
That joy will come in the morning.
It may take much time,
But I will heal your broken heart.
I know the night seems endless,
But MORNING WILL COME
I have promised.
—-From The Haven of Rest Newsletter

Note: I came across this poem and wanted to share it with my readers. So many times we can’t see the light because of so much darkness, despair, grief and pain. We wonder how long? How much more? When will it end? God, are you really there? Friends, please know that as long as you have a pulse, there is a purpose. As long as you have breath, there is hope. And as long as you’re in your right mind, there are possibilities. Under the shadow of His wings, stay the course. Full speed ahead!

Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
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7 Comments

Filed under Encouraged Comfort, Hope For the Hopeless

Joy Comes in the Morning

My heart is heavy, Lord. I can’t go another day.

The sun is hiding its face from me. Dreams are shattered. My heart is torn. Sleep escapes me. My eyes are swollen from the never-ending tears. My head hangs low. My shoulders slumped over. My feet feel like they’re walking in concrete.

Yet You say: Trust Me.

I don’t know if I can hold on longer. I’m not sure I can take another step – another hour, another minute, another second. I can’t today, Lord. I feel like a failure. I have nothing left to give. This darkness doesn’t lift. There’s trouble on every side, darkness all around. The burden is too heavy. The valley is too long. The ocean too wide. The pit too deep. God, please don’t leave me like this! Don’t forsake me now! Whom do I have besides You, Lord?

Please, God. Help. Me. To live.

Yes, child, He whispers. I am here.

Maybe … just maybe, I’ll try again tomorrow.

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Personal Note: I felt compelled to jot these words down. I don’t know who this is for, but you know who you are. May hope arise within your spirit, and may you sense the Father’s peace as only He can grant in the midst of the storm. May He fill the void from within and heal the pain in your heart. Yes, He loves you just the way you are, but too much to leave you that way.

Love,
Mary A. ~

15 Comments

Filed under Inspirational, Prayer